Driving Robot for Reproducible Testing: A Novel Combination of Pedal and Steering Robot on a Steerable Vehicle Test Bench


Shorter development times, increased standards for vehicle emissions and a greater number of vehicle variants result in a higher level of complexity in the vehicle development process. Efficient development of powertrain and driver assistance functions under comparable and reproducible operating conditions is possible on vehicle test benches. Yet, the realistic simulation of real driving environments on test benches is a challenge. Current test procedures and new technologies, such as Real Driving Emission tests and Autonomous Driving, require a reproducible and even more detailed simulation of the driving environment. Due to this, the simulation of curve driving in particular is gaining in importance. This results from its significant influence on energy consumption and Autonomous Driving functions with lateral guidance, such as lane departure and evasion assistance. Reproducibility can be additionally increased by using a driving robot. At today’s vehicle test benches, pedal and shift robots are predominantly used for longitudinal dynamic tests in the performed test procedures. In order to meet these new test automation requirements for vehicle test benches, the cooperative operation of pedal and steering robots is needed on a test bench setup suitable for this purpose. In this publication, the authors present the setup of a vehicle test bench to be used in automated and reproducible vehicle-in-the-loop tests during steering events. The focus is on the test-bench-specific setup with steerable front wheels, the actuators for simulating the wheel steering torque around the steering axle and the robots used for pedals and steering wheel. Results from various test series are presented and the potential of the novel test environment is shown. The results are reproducible in various test series due to the closed-loop operation without human driving influences at the test bench.